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What can be done about Newsgroup Chaos?


            Dan Kettler © 1998-2003


Latest update: March 30, 2003

The USENET newsgroups connected with astrology, psychic phenomena and UFO research is the subject.  The solution to change unmoderated newsgroups filled with hostility and off-topic writing is shown here, from item 12 of the May 31, 1998 alt.paranormal FAQ-Answers.

The high volume of such hostile and off-topic writing has produced censorship.


Here is the first method you can use to counter the censorship and liberate newsgroups.  It is quite productive.  It is the easiest and most readily accessible to most people.  Pay particular attention to the public service announcement part.

What is the significance of Usenet Culture, and what does this have to do with making changes in newsgroups?

People joining together to discuss methods to improve the newsgroup situation,
to organize, and to act as a group. (March 30, 2003 update)

This discussion will be without my direct, day-to-day input.  My function, if help is solicited from me, will be to occasionally interact with a spokesman that "overseers" decide upon together, and to offer suggestions.  I suggest that a group meet through a mailing list.  "Onelist" (aka "eGROUPS") is a good exampleJohn Benneth has used "onelist."  See the JB site. Check the search engines for other mailing lists.  Connect with those on the list of "overseers" linked here.  Also, check back with GOOGLE for posts of others you may wish to contact to join with your group in discussion.  I suggest that, then, overseers vote upon new members to add to the list.  I suggest, if you are interested in discussing these situations with others who have the same interest in liberating newsgroups, that you contact them.

Contact the person running this URL: http://www.flagship1.com You may wish to to enter "Flagship's" private discussion group.

The alt.paranormal FAQ explains the function of "overseers," and makes it clear that USENET itself does not recognize "overseer" status in a legal sense.  In other words, this term has been placed in a FAQ.  The term, itself, was agreed upon by a number of overseers, but ADMINS and ISPs are not obligated to recognize decisions that overseers have voted upon.  They may do so, however, even though not obligated.

The most important thing that this status gives is recognition that brings authority by influence.  It's a matter of respect.  That respect must be earned, and it will not continue to exist if you, the "overseers," do not maintain a membership who's behavior on the NET is worthy of respect.  That means careful selection by vote, and dismissal of certain members when necessary.

The FAQ and CHARTER of alt.paranormal and related newsgroups will be respected by admins to the extent that you, the "overseers," earn that respect, and to the extent that you learn the contents of these documents and how the wording relates to USENET policies and procedures.

I recommend that fanaticism in any form not be tolerated.  That includes fanatically expressed hatred toward skeptics or any group or individual.  Defense, in a balanced manner should be encouraged, however.  Effective methods of exposing patterns of deceit and hostility should be encouraged.  Fanatical causes are not constructive either.  The newsgroup situation changes should be approached in a calm, and balanced manner, without anxiety.

Which of the NCAT items is abuse of the net, or abuse on the Net?  What actions are feasible as remedies?

Latest controversy regarding methods, October 1999 Link to Usenet postings showing that controversy.

There are recommendations about complaining to Internet Service Providers (ISP), whether it is ethical and feasilble, how often, or under what circumstances one should do so.

In brief, the above postings will illustrate the fact that Edmond H. Wollmann, Lucianarcy, and myself have these differences of opinon.  Edmond H. Wollmann and I agree that people should complain to ISPs.  We both agree that complaints should be written to news.admin.net-abuse.usenet (NANAU).  However, I feel that one should only complain to ISPs with extreme circumstances, and for the most part to NANAU when it is abuse of the net, not abuse on the net.

From reading Edmond H. Wollmann's posts, it seems he agrees with me that law suits against some offending posters/ISPs should be filed.

Lucianarchy, on the other hand, does not believe in law suits against offending posters/ISPs, or complaints to ISPs.

Though I have not discussed this with Raymond Karczewski, this post shows his principal method.

Amos Keppler, and unnamed others, have the same aims as Raymond, Karczewski, Lucianarchy, Edmond Wollmann, and myself.  In the past, one counter-productive "method" was endless post-for-post nasty conflict.  I don't believe one should just take abuse, but endlessly battling with opponents just furthers their aim to disrupt newsgroups.

I believe all of us would like to see alt.paranormal and similar newsgroups on-topic, and not filled with hostile posts which dissuade those who have an interet in the subjects from reading and posting.  We have different methods.  The fact remains that one person, alone, cannot bring meaningful change.  It should also be obvious that there must be common methods to bring change.  I suggest that people meet, continue dialogue, and reach agreements.

12 a 1 A       Contact with ISPs about individuals

For individual ISP policies, go to the ISP's website.  If you want to complain to an ISP about Johndoe@bobaloo.com, you check the WEB PAGE of the ISP at www.bobaloo.com, and find out what their policies are.  For this example, if someone posts as Johndoe@bobaloo.com you write to abuse@bobaloo.com.  You should be sure to watch for fake identfications, and learn how to find the actual ISP or feeder to USENET.

            In article <3614C85D.2C9E@virgin.net>,
            bo69423515@virgin.net wrote:

 Steps to reclaim these newsgroups.

         1.  Do not bow to intimidation.

         2. Inform your ISP of what you are doing.

         3. Report each off topic poster to their ISP each time
            they violate the Charter by posting off topic. Posting
            off topic is posting messages which do not discuss the
            title subject of the newsgroup.

        4. Do this everytime they post. The ISP will eventually
           take action against their customer.

        5. In your complaint, enclose full headers and a copy of
           the post.

        6. Keep a copy yourself.

        7. If the ISP does not take action against a customer
           violating their AUP, contact the ISP partner companys
           and subsideries and inform them they are breaching
           practice requirements. CC to Executive Directors.

        8. Do not be put off by Policy Managers. Contact the ISP
           and take your greivance up with higher management.

        9. The above system works. It is not included in most
           FAQs available, because the FAQs are invariably
           composed by people who work in the industry.

There was a usual practice of posting, in the Newsgroup, copies of e-mail to Internet Service Providers.  A number of posters were sending e-mail to the ISP's, telling them the the arguments of those complaining were invalid.  If you complain to an ISP, usually a copy of that complaint will go to the one you are complaining about, who he/she will have a chance to debate the issue.  It is no longer advisable to make your complaints public, so you will only find it necessary to argue the points of the offender, if necessary, and not the e-mail of a number of people.

                 If you wish to complain about Gary Burnore, or any posters
                 from Databasix, link to this URL for information.

12 a 1 B          Other Actions regarding ISPs

12 a 1 B 1.       Maintain Lists of ISPs that support BIGOTRY, HARASSMENT
                         and ABUSE.  If the ISP does not warn, or cease service to,
                         the offenders, the ISP goes on the list

            a.    distribute list by posting in the newsgroups

            b.    distribute list to proponents of the paranormal

            c.    distribute list to ISPs

        2.       Mailings to ISPs

            a.    Lists of Individual BIGOTS, HARASSERS, and ABUSERS

            b.    Information about policy of urging people to boycott
                  ISPs that support BIGOTRY, HARASSMENT or ABUSE

            c.    Details of policy that shows what constitutes BIGOTRY,
                  HARASSMENT or ABUSE, with examples of the history of
                  this problem.

12.a.2. Post to NET ABUSE newsgroups when appropriate

        Post to newsgroups such as news.admin.net-abuse.usenet

        ...but be sure that your post actually concerns
        NET ABUSE, not matters that concern CHARTER
        VIOLATIONS, as an example.

        See item 20, the appropriate URL regarding NET ABUSE

12 b

In addition to complaints to ISPs, listing those we recommend have all their posts ignored, and lists that show the positive contributors to the newsgroup, should be posted in alt.paranormal periodically.

12 c

A method of combating flames, which should be utilized only when many flames, (inflammatory remarks) are being written toward proponents of the paranormal, is to repeat the same short message to each of the flame messages.  This idea came about during the Spring of 1998, from Charles Gregory.  However, it has one drawback.  Even if your posts do not reach the "spam threshold," your account can be cancelled by your Internet Service Provider because of the multitude of complaints.  The best way to implement this is to organize, through e-mail contact, with at least 5 people, to each place no more than 10 repeats
during a 45 day period, and to do so only after getting clearance with the higher level of authority of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Be sure you read FAQs about "spamming," spam thresholds, etc.

What is SPAM:


SPAM thresholds:


If you run out of people to cover the amount of flames the group wants to answer during a 45 day period, then ask for other volunteers.

The message should state that you are not necessarily  agreeing with the remarks made, but that if you decide to answer them, the rebuttal will be placed on a certain WWW
site page.

You state that you are avoiding flaming in the newsgroup by making that statement.

12 d

Still another method of helping to deter people from nonsensical, dishonest, and
uncivil postings, is the "sense-honesty-civility" posting.  To see samples of this
type of posting, visit this WEB SITE:


Nearly every ISP, these days, provides web space free of charge.  Accumulate about 30 or 40 examples of a lack of sense, honesty, or civility, and put them up on your web site and each person should post 1 of  these examples per week, and that way they will circulate a certain person's examples of a lack of these
attributes about 1 time each 6 months.  Be careful not to approach spam thresholds with  repitition of preliminary statements in the posts.

12. e. 1. Compuserve, AOL, etc. ads

       The larger On-Line Services have sections devoted
       to metaphysics and psychic phenomena.  Advertise
       in those sections, being careful not to violate
       any terms of service.  Ask for volunteer help to
       change alt.paranormal into an orderly group.  If
       not on Compuserve, AOL, or such services, use
       GOOGLE to find others interested in the paranormal,
       with "AOL" or "COMPUSERVE" in the addresses, to place
       such ads for you.

       2. Search Engines

       Yahoo, Infoseek, and other search engines will
       place banner ads for a fee which show in the
areas that have listings for psychic information.

e. 3. Free banner ads at metaphysical-occult web sites.

       There are many sites which provide free Banner Ads,
       as an exchange.  If the people visiting certain sites
       are primarily interested in either paid or free
       information, consultation, etc., then many of them
       will be interested in volunteering services to help
       get alt.paranormal to be on-topic and free of
       flames.  Banner ads are simply colorful banners
       which, when clicked on, bring one to another WWW
       site.  You can word the banner with something like:
       "Help make alt.paranormal a friendly newsgroup, to
         discuss the paranormal."

e 4.    Ads in other newsgroups like alt.paranormal.psi, talk.religion.newage, and
          others.  Do not spam.

12.f      Post to the alt.paranormal newsgroup

The first thing you want to do is contact the highest levels of authority of your INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER, (ISP) before you do any
reposting, or engage in any activity that might bring complaints to your ISP from fanatics.

You should draw the attention of your ISP to the contents of this page, and ask they to look to connecting links for more details.

Also, post periodic public service announcements regarding FAQs, Charters, and other info to certain newsgroups.  Click here.

Propaganda writing, which could discourage people from reposting, has been placed in the newsgroups.  I have answered this propaganda in the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.  My reply makes the following clear, and because the rebuttals to it were not regarded as valid by anyone with the authority
to act against the following, this stands:

                       1. It is permissible to reference your URL in posts, to point to information about pseudo-skeptic fanatics.  Banners placed on the pages
                           do not, necessarily, cause it to be "spam."

                       2. It is permissible to repost below the spam thresholds.

                       3. In your reposting, you may place identical wording that invites others to repost, and those
                           words, properly placed, will not add to the count that would cause your writing to be "spam."

Here is some other propaganda writing -- false material about "spam."

f.1    Post proponent of the paranormal material to alt.paranormal repeatedly, (psychic phenomena, spirit guides, reincarnation, etc.) but not too often so that it is "spam."  If you don't have adequate material to occupy the newsgroup with on-topic posts, then use GOOGLE, with the "power search" function, and place"reposts."  On-topic posts attract new proponents of the  paranormal.  Contribute to discussion when other proponents comment on the posts.

You can copy and paste from the following web pages:

                UFO posts                alt.paranet.ufo

                New Age posts        talk.religion.newage

                Astrology Posts       alt.astrology

               Paranormal Posts   alt.paranormal

or use GOOGLE to find posts

When using a URL references, such as when you write advice in each re-post that others should repost...

Would you the reader like to repost this
article at a future date?

To see how, and why you would do so,
access this URL...

      www. p s i c o u n s e l .com/whattodo.html#post

...it may become necessary to have the same text that exists in /whattodo.html, placed on another domain.
Web space is freely given by most ISPs.  Whether this becomes necessary depends upon how often the "psicounsel"
domain is repeated by a number of posters.  The repeated use of URLs is cancellable for commercial pages and
800 phone number referenced Multi-Level Marketing schemes -- even when posted once by a particular person.

This may be implemented for posts such as the above, so a number of URL addresses may become necessary.  There
are no rules that would bring this about, but such things do change.  I'm just warning you in advance.  Permission is granted to
copy this, or other important pages accessed from /news/index.html to your hard disk, place it on your Web Site,
and then announce it.  Permission is not granted to alter the text of the pages.  The URL references on the pages
should be changed to refer to the "psicounsel" domain in the link.  Most of the URL references, now, only direct
the reader to the same domain it is being read from.

If one reposts a particular item, and one or more people are reposting the same posting, the total number of times that writing appears
in any newsgroup should not exceed the spam thresholds.  It is possible that the posting will not be repostable by anyone after it is
declared cancellable.  There's no present rule now about that, but that may change in the future.  It is best to avoid causing such
cancellations by not reposting articles that others are already posting within the time frame allowed in present spam guidelines.

Use the "zip" file downloadable here.  After unarchiving, use the program with FORTE AGENT.  and repatedly post to appropriate newsgroups.  Be careful not to "spam."  See the "spam" guidelines...


Use "pkunzip.exe" for the zip file, or some Windows based unarchiving utility.  See your WEB search engines, such as YAHOO,  for software companies.

To illustrate how often a particular article may be reposted, suppose, the subject is applicable to the following newsgroups and you crosspost to all...


The posting may be placed 9 times within a 45 day period, which averages once each 5 days for each article.  Any more than that is "spam."

Your account can be cancelled with your INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) even if you do not "spam" if a high number of people complain about your activities.  Check with your ISP before engaging in this type activity.

Permission is granted to post my messages entirely without alteration, and to give me full credit for the posts.  Alterations, or lack of credit for me as the writer, will be copyright infringement.

Place the following at the top of each message:

                       copyright Dan Kettler
                       send e-mail via WEBSITE (at) psicounsel (dot)com
                       www dot psicounsel dot com/news

                       Do not use the above with posts that are entirely the writing of
                       another person.  When they are, give credit to the actual author, not me.

         f.2 Post FAQ and CHARTER information.

When you see a post about a FAQ or CHARTER that has been placed for deceptive propaganda purposes, post FAQ and CHARTER information written by a proponent of the paranormal, or other appropriate
rebuttals which have been made to such deceptive propaganda.  There is more than just the actual FAQ and CHARTER to reply with in the downloadable material that works with FORTE AGENT.

If you do not wish to use FORTE AGENT, you may use a text reader to post from one of the "outbox" files.

Obtain FAQ data, and rebuttals to inaccurate information with this data from GOOGLE or the data usable in the downloadable file for

Use your "watch" filter in FORTE AGENT to spot the word "FAQ" and other words in subject headers.  This will help you find deceptive propaganda written periodically to the newsgroups.

        f.3  Cross-post to alt.paranormal and alt.paranormal.moderated
               newsgroups about the paranormal.

Include other newsgroups (no more than 5 total) if the subject matters are appropriate.

Do not discuss FAQ, CHARTERS, personalities, or anything that would be "off-topic" to the moderator of alt.paranormal.moderated.

Any person replying to you will have posts deleted if they are abusive or off-topic.  They only way an abusive or off-topic reply can be posted is if alt.paranormal.moderated is deleted by the replying poster.

Here is the the most productive part of the above in simple, step-by-step, format.

First, why would you do the following?  What help would it be?  What problems exist for you to solve?  Some of those questions are answered here  in detail.  In a shorter version on this page there are simple answers.

       1. Go to this FREEWARE site, and click at "download."   It's free.

        2. Go to this site, and download the FREE version of FORTE AGENT.
            Use the "run" after "start" in MICROSOFT WINDOWS (later versions)
            to install this program.

          3. Download this ZIP file.  It contains a "readme.txt" file.  Part of the "readme.txt"
                    file contains references to rebuttals to deceptive propaganda placed in
                    alt.paranormal.  Updated rebuttals are here, but it's okay to use
                    older versions in the "outbox" file.

        4. If you have WINDOWS, use the WINDOWS EXPLORER to make directories
            and place files.

                    a. Find your step 3 file ("ZIP file")  and place it in the
                        FORTE AGENT subdirectory (or "folder") called "data"

                    b. "Run" your "tz982.exe"  file.

                    c. Using your newly installed freeware (step b)"Unzip" your
                         file from step 3.  When you do this, have the "outbox"
                         files placed in "data" (step a, above), along with the
                        "readme.txt" file.

                    d. Use WINDOWS "Notepad" and read the "readme.txt" file
                         in the "data" subdirectory.

                    e. Access your newly installed FORTE AGENT program.

                     f.  Connect with the INTERNET, and then
                         configure with server information (from your ISP).  Use "options,"
                         "general preference and enter "news server," and "e-mail server"
                         in FORTE AGENT.

                     g. Begin placing posts in the designated groups about the subjects
                         that concern those newsgroups.  To get an idea of what a high
                         amount of the same post, or nearly the same, is "spam," if you
                         post to one newsgroup 20 times within 45 days (about once every
                         other day) you then will be "spamming."  Less than that would
                         not be "spam."

If you prefer to use a different method than the above to repost, you can copy and paste from the following web pages that contain up-to-date posts:

                UFO posts                alt.paranet.ufo

                New Age posts        talk.religion.newage

                Astrology Posts       alt.astrology

                Paranormal Posts   alt.paranormal

or use GOOGLE to find posts


The following is from item 20 of the "altparfaq.txt"

20.  References

These are the references for USENET authority and  finding ARCHIVED posts from
previous years

To find archived postings of USENET -- best to use the "power search" function, and look
for keywords, authors, and specify time periods - newsgroups


FAQs about FAQs -- the rules and procedures of FAQs on USENET


news.admin.net-abuse FAQ -- what is and is not "abuse" and what to do about it


alt.spam FAQ or "Figuring out fake E-Mail & Posts"  -- how to complain to an ISP


The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, by

         New Link compliments of Angelica



Netiquette: "Flame-Free Internet Communications."


Netiquette 101 -- short and sweet


Kook rules -- how to nominated and elect a "kook"


What is SPAM:


SPAM thresholds:


First, why would you follow the simple, step-by-step method above?

You would do it to occupy the newsgroups with on-topic posts, so you may promote the atmosphere of freedom and friendliness (amongst those of similar views) for proponents to participate in the newsgroups of those designations, "paranormal," "New Age," "UFO," and "astrology."

If you also wish to, you may post to enlighten people about false propaganda that pseudo-skeptics promote for the purpose of maintaining control of newsgroups by making the newsgroups nearly unusable to advocates.

What help would it be?

Your participation will show that many people are contributing to the newsgroup who are advocates, who do not wish to engage in hostility, and will help encourage people who fear conflict to participate in disucussion.

If in addition to the above, you wish to help shed light on the deception of the propaganda  regarding FAQs, CHARTERS, and other issues, see the "readme.txt" file, and follow the advice.

What problem exists for you to solve?

Presently, as one example, alt.paranormal is overrun with hostile, off-topic, posts.  This has had the effect of dissuading proponents from contributing discussion about spirituality and the paranormal.

In addition, deceptive propaganda has been posted to the newsgroup alt.paranormal, particularly.  This has the effect of appearance to people new on the net, that the newsgroups are run by pseudo-skeptics, that hostility and defamation toward proponents, by pseudo-skeptics is a fixed way of life on the more popular USENET groups, and reclamation is impossible.  The pseudo-skeptics also create the illusion that those who attempt reclamation of newsgroups are "kooks," or other degrading categories.  These are not the facts.

Part of the above questions are answered here  in greater detail.

----END ----

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